Friday, November 23, 2012

Still more don't get it.




Scripture

And the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring any bread.
(Matthew 16:5 NASB)
And Jesus said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
(Matthew 16:6 NASB)
They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, “He said that because we did not bring any bread.”
(Matthew 16:7 NASB)
But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread?
(Matthew 16:8 NASB)
“Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up?
(Matthew 16:9 NASB)
“Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up?
(Matthew 16:10 NASB)
“How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
(Matthew 16:11 NASB)
Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
(Matthew 16:12 NASB)

 

Observation


This theme of truly understanding the teachings of Jesus vs. the Pharisees and Sadducees continues. Jesus was sending a message to the Pharisees and Sadducees using the things that they would have learned and they just couldn't get it. It's a message that he's sending to us today, that we need to listening to the teachings of Jesus and not be obsessed with the letter of the Law. Finally in this scene we find Jesus realizing that the disciples didn't understand the seriousness of his concern. They weren't getting it either.

 

Application


The ways in which the Pharisees and Sadducees thought and applied Scripture were detrimental to the faith and spiritual development of the disciples and Jesus knew it! He knew that just a tiny bit of their legalism would be disastrous. Just as a tiny bit of yeast infuses an entire loaf of bread, a small kernel of their rigid protection of the law could destroy what Jesus was planting in their hearts. He was planting a new way of looking at the Law. Remember, Jesus wanted mercy, not sacrifice. This new way was organic and it grew out of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The goal was not to keep every little element of the law, the goal was Christ. Every human being is being invited into this deeply personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ in which we become a reflection of him to this world. Our actions and reactions are to be his and that means that every inch of who we are should be filled with his Holy Spirit, or be entirely sanctified! Jesus knew this was the new way to go for his disciples but he also knew that a small fraction of miss-placed faith could ruin the whole person and derail what God intended for his people.

 

Prayer


Lord, may we be aware that the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees still exists today and may your Holy Spirit so fill us that there is no room for teaching which keeps us from knowing you on a personal level. Amen.

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